Khronos Releases OpenGL 4.2 Specification
- enabling shaders with atomic counters and load/store/atomic read-modify-write operations to a single level of a texture. These capabilities can be combined, for example, to maintain a counter at each pixel in a buffer object for single-rendering-pass order-independent transparency;
- capturing GPU-tessellated geometry and drawing multiple instances of the result of a transform feedback to enable complex objects to be efficiently repositioned and replicated;
- modifying an arbitrary subset of a compressed texture, without having to re-download the whole texture to the GPU for significant performance improvements;
- packing multiple 8 and 16 bit values into a single 32-bit value for efficient shader processing with significantly reduced memory storage and bandwidth, especially useful when transferring data between shader stages.
The press release also has comments from both NVidia and AMD discussing their upcoming OpenGL4.2 compatible drivers. NVidia’s drivers are available today, but it seems AMD’s aren’t available quite yet. They mentioned having 4.2 Beta drivers available “with the publication of the OpenGL4.2 specification”, but they dont’ seem to be available yet.